School of Engineering

Alethea Walker

Alethea Walker

Alethea is one of our current WIRe researchers

Understanding how connectivity, vegetation specification and maintenance regimes contribute to high quality Green Infrastructure

  • WIRe PhD Cohort I
  • Start Date: September 2019
  • Research Area: Water
  • Supervisors: Dr Claire Walsh, Prof Chris Kilsby
  • Sponsors: EPSRC and Northumbrian Water Group

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Human and Physical Geography in 2016. I developed an interest in the processes of flooding and the juxtaposition society shares with water. This interest led me to an MSc in Flood Risk Management here at Newcastle University. During my MSc, I discovered a passion for Green Infrastructure. Green Infrastructure uses vegetation to combat runoff. It provides many other benefits for the ecological and social environments around it.

I built on this found interest of engineered vegetation. Following my MSc, I worked as a Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) Officer for a Lead Local Flood Authority. I approved flood risk assessments for new developments. I tried to promote the multifunctional principles of Green Infrastructure.

Working within the industry led me to understand the existing challenges. Green Infrastructure and its benefits are understood and the concept of SuDS is no longer new. But some developments still aren't achieving high quality SuDS. I wanted to do something to address this. The WIRe PhD provides a great opportunity to research the current gaps in our understanding and implementation of Green Infrastructure. My PhD project will focus on the 'how' of delivering green infrastructure. I will examine maintenance, vegetation specification and connectivity of Green Infrastructure.

The National Green Infrastructure Facility offers the opportunity to inform my research. I will conduct experiments at both the outdoor ensembles and the indoor SuDS lab. The project will focus on the current and future urban green spaces of Newcastle upon Tyne. I will work alongside my industrial sponsors Northumbrian Water and their partner Stantec.


Alethea Walker: WIRe PhD student, School of Engineering, Newcastle University